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Dina Hampton Education. (2013) 'Little Red Three Passionate Lives Through the Sixties and Beyond.' New.

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TOPIC FREQUENCY

Elizabeth Irwin 8, Angela 6, Elliot 4, Grover 4, Greenwich 4, Alexander Hamilton 3, John Dewey 3, Angela Davis 3, Dina 3, Abraham Lincoln 3, Tom Horowitz 3, Kathy 3, California 3, Brown 2, Eliot Spitzer 2, Little Red 2, Us 2, Franklin Roosevelt 2, Abrams 2, Petraeus 2,
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  CSPAN    Book TV    Dina Hampton  Education.  (2013) 'Little Red Three  
   Passionate Lives Through the Sixties and Beyond.' New.  

    March 24, 2013
    2:00 - 2:45pm EDT  

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>> now, and memoir by f-16 air pilot dan hampton called on to secure u.s. airspace on 9/11 and that the initial attack on iraq. it's about 35 minutes. [applause] >> thank you. i'm going to start off by saying what i always say that the reason i always hated because the truth is the truth. the truth is the current bookstore has been incredible friend to this class to count how many years, the first event in january 1998, which is 15 years and dozens of books that have come out into the world to meet their readers and their
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buyers at the corner bookstore. .. >> every book has its own story, and every or writer has their own journey to publication. and in dena's case, in this book is a monument to both the amazing history of the little red schoolhouse which i'll leave dina to tell you about, but also to her amazing persistence which i'll tell you something about. i know dina sometimes feels a little bit shy about the fact that the book is dated 2013, and
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her diploma is dated 1999. i don't think that's anything at all that needs explanation. it's something that actually deserves praise. because one thing i always say to my students is that there's no award for the fastest book. [laughter] i mean it. and there's only an award for the best book. and neil sheehan took 20 years, and diane mcworther took 18 years to write "carry me home." and when it's all done and the book is out, the only thing that matters is the quality and also the grit of the author in seeing it through all of the lonely work that it takes to get to a night like this. and dina is a living testament to an author who kept believing in a book, in the importance of its subject, public affairs, her parisher, is a great -- publisher, is a great testament to a publisher who kept faith in
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their author. and it makes it a special cause for celebration here tonight. so with all due telling, that famous literary turn, i will turn this over to dina hampton. [applause] >> thank you. thank you so much. and i'm so excited to be here tonight to talk to you about the lives of three extraordinary people in this book; tom horowitz, elliot antibiotic brames and angela davis and the no less extraordinary school they found themselves in -- somewhat against toeds considering their differing backgrounds -- in the early 1960s. the founder of the school, as many of you know because many of you have connections with the school, was elizabeth irwin. she was born in 1880 in brooklyn
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to a well-to-do family. after attending smith college, she moved to greenwich village in 903 and found herself among a group of artists and social reformers of every stripe that were at the first blooming of the greenwich village's bohemian flowering. she started as a freelance reporter and then studied as a psychologist and social worker, and inspired by john dewey she and a partner ran a series of model classes and schools within the public education system. based on the progressive student -- here to are ris of john dewey -- theories of john dewey. irwin and her come compatriots d against the rote them to zigs and strict discipline of the day. she believed children should read and write and do sums on
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their own timetable, and that it was even harmful to force them to do it faster. she believed that their emotional development was as important as their intellectual development. she said that the most important thing that a school could do was get children into the habit of being happy. most importantly, she believed and her fellow progressive educators believed that a school must instill in children's minds the ability to think independently so that they could participate fully in the american democracy. in 1932 elizabeth irwin's classes were at tp41 -- ps41, and the city at that point withdrew its funding from the experiment. and the parents were so upset their children would not be able to take classes with elizabeth irwin that they banded together
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and in manager that's famous in the school lore, at a parents' ice cream parlor they got together the money or started to get together the money to start their own school. and so in september 1932 little red schoolhouse opened on bleaker street, and ten years later, in 1942 shortly before elizabeth irwin's death, untimely death, elizabeth irwin high school opened on charlton street. a few blocks south of little red the in what would decades later become soho. so then a few years later in 19, in the 1950s, the parent body of elizabeth irwin and little red made up a roll call of the cultural and artistic society of the day. play wright arthur miller was a parent there, woody guthrie was
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a parent there, walter bernstein who wrote "magnificent seven," he was the screenplay writer and many other well known screen plays was a parent there as well as a polansky who wrote many film noirs. also was -- [inaudible] whose wife and he had adopted the children of parents assassinated for espionage. billy holiday made famous, so it was a remarkably talented group of parents there. so the parents of tom horowitz who's one of my protagonists, his participants were among -- parents were among that group. leo horowitz was a dock you mentarian of sort of a radical stripe, and his mother was a principal if martha graham dance
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troupe. so i will read you a little bit about him. see if i can see. as a young man, tom looked at his parents' wild ride through the depression with envy. with his liquid brown eyes and full lips and his wiry brown hair brushed into submission and parted on the side, tom was by turns a dreamy and stubborn youngster who, like his father, couldn't bear to concede a point. in some ways he was a typical child of the '50s. he had a suede leather jacket with fringe and a daniel boone fur hat said jane, his mother, and he had the biggest collection of toy guns of every sort. when i spoke to my analyst about it, he said let him have them. he won't want to have any more of them when he grows up. but the death of the rosenbergs
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was an ongoing and unspoken terror that pervaded tom's childhood. one day he summoned up the courage to broach the subject with his father. could they get you and mom, he asked? no, his father reassured him, we're artists. although leo's response was not particularly on point, tom was somewhat comforted by this response. but tom's fears for his parents did not keep him from participate anything political causes. he and his classmates spent many saturdays protesting the five and dime's segregated lunch counter policies in the southern states. picketing woolworth's was -- [inaudible] class of '62. elliot abrams, another protagonist in my book, was also in the class of ooh 65 -- '65
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with tom. his mother was a schoolteacher, and his father was an immigration lawyer, and they were middle of the road democrats, new dealers, and his mother enrolled elliott in the school in ninth grade, um, having heard of the school's reputation. so, in most american high schools in the early 1960s, the abrams family's politics would have put elliott to the left of his classmates. at elizabeth irwin, he was the equivalent of a republican. [laughter] culturally, elliott was also out of step. like most of his class mates, he was jewish, but unlike most of his classmates who either came from secular families or a product of mixed marriages, elliott's family was observant and kept a kosher home. elliot began to react to what he considered the left-wing ott
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docks says of the school. browsing the magazine racks, he saw the nation. why, heed is isabelle, the librarian, could the school not achieve some balance in the publication it displayed? why not stock a magazine like the national review? the culture is dominated by right-wig politics, she replied. we don't need to get more of it in our school. [laughter] in elliot's view history teacher harold kirscher in personified the school's politics. of he was a rigorous and dedicated teacher, but his analyses of historical movements seemed patently absurd to him. why do countries acquire colonies? according to the doctor, because countries needed economic markets. who in the hell in those impoverished colonies was in the position to buy anything, abrams wondered incredulously? in 196 of 4, the word around
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school was that kirscher in had voted for johnson, the first time he had ever cast such a mainstream vote for fear that a victory for conservative republican barry goldwater would bring fascism to america. increasingly appalled by the school's ideological slant, elliot began to vocalize his own political views. he debated with his classmates. his chief opponent was tom horowitz. [laughter] his equal in intellectual precausety and in love of a good fight. the impromptu discussions often ended in shouting matches between two. a hot topic was cuba and its leader, or fidel castro, who had come to power in 1959. most students saw castro as a romantic revolutionary who was bringing economic and social justice to his people. elliot viewed him as just another standard issue communist
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dictator. [laughter] angela davis, my third protagonist, was in the class of 1961. that class included robert deniro for a time, his parents were artists that lived in the village, and kathy pew doone who later became involved in the 1981 -- she took part in the 1981 brinks robbery in which a guard and two policemen were killed and served many years in prison for that. angela grew up in birmingham, alabama, at the height of jim crow, and to escape from the wretched, segregated school system, she entered ei in her junior year on a scholarship from the american friends' service committee. and i will just read a short passage about her. when she entered the school, although angela braced herself
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for outright hostility, she had not foreseen her host's tendency to be oversolicitous of its few black acquaintances. angela did not question the community's desire to eliminate racism, and she knew that bringing her to the school was an earnest action toward that end. but from day-to-day, she questioned the motives behind any overtures extended to her. were invitations prompted by genuine friendship or feelings of obligation, guilt or attempts to display their liberal largess? there were times when she would arrive at a class mate's apartment to discover a black retainer in the family's employ. to angela, that was merely semantics. the housekeeper, she thought was in fact a servant, and that made her acutely uncomfortable. between the community's bafflement about how to deal with this newcomer and angela's shyness and consciously wary stance toward her hosts, there
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was limited opportunities for meaningful connections, and she felt a constant sense of unease. she was not alone. such feelings of never knowing quite where one stood was shared to varying extents by the handful her fellow african-american schoolmates. so in the book i follow these three people, um, through their or unbelievably event-packed and dramatic lives. tom went to columbia where he played a part in the occupation of the school in the spring of 1968. he then moved to california where he was an activist and an organizer among other things in the g.i. movement which i i think is an underreported phenomenon in the annals of vietnam protest where people supported and organized the soldiers' growing dissent toward the war. it centered around g.i. coffeehouses which were places where the soldiers could meet
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and share their or concerns and their growing protest. those coffee houses were first founded by fred gardener, by the way, who was class of 1959 at little red. he returned to new york city in the 1970s and became a successful cinematographer, still is, and often with films with social content. one of his first films that he worked on was harlan county, usa. elliot went to harvard, and after four years of elizabeth irwin, i think he thought he'd find more like-minded associates, can which -- which he did. and they would go on to become the core of, um, the neoconservatives which would in the '80s really sort of fight against a lot of the advancements that the counterculture of the '60s had made.
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and in the student occupation of harvard which was in the spring of 1969, a year after columbia, those friends formed a committee to keep harvard open. and to this day elliot talks about that as the high point of his university career. in the, but it's important to know that, you know, he stayed a democrat until he, um, worked for reagan's election. and then when he got into the administration and rose very quickly, then he became a republican. and in the administration he became embroiled in the iran contra scandal. angela attended brandeis, another east coast, mostly white school which didn't help her feelings of alienation, and she joined the communist party usa, and she first rose to national prominence when she went head to head with governor ronald reagan
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in california when the board of regents fired her from her first position as a professor for her membership in the communist party. she was then very soon after, actually, again the concentration of events in these people's lives in the '70s is remarkable. she was charged with murder and kidnapping and conspiracy in connection with an attempted jailbreak in the marin county courthouse in california. she went underground to evade capture, she was captured and spent 18 months in prison before her trial which was covered the world over. so i'll just read you one more piece from that. this is when she gets captured. reentering the motel in the late afternoon, angela noted dark-suited men milling about
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the lob by. she tamped down the now-familiar feeling of panic that spread through her. she was probably imagining things, angela told herself. the stress of life as a fugitive had taken its toll. at this point every white man in a suit seemed to her like an fbi agent ready to pounce. resolutely, she made her way across the lobby and into the elevator. exiting the seventh floor, she spied a man peering out of one of the doors, another man who had entered the elevator with her followed her out. suddenly, agents burst out of every room and corn verged -- converged on her shouting, are you angela davis? one of hem pulled a gun. moments before when angela realized her capture was imminent, an unexpected sense of calm possessed her. now there was a sickening moment of terror as she pictured her corpse bleeding on the hallway carpeting. they brought her to the sterile fbi headquarters on east 69 street where she was kept for several hours before being
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driven downtown to the women's house of detention on sixth avenue and greenwich avenue, a massive 10-story brick building -- the jefferson library stands there now -- that loomed over the townhouses and tenements of greenwich village. disor credibilitied as she was -- disoriented as she was, angela still recognized it. she had walked by it countless times and visibly recalled the begin made by the female inmates as they rained down curses and pleas from the many-windowed jail. still handcuffed, angela was placed on a bench in a grimy waiting room. as angela's eyes adjusted, she saw her image on a flier under the words "wanted" by the fbi. directly next to it was a poster picturing her or former classmate, kathy. i graduated from little red and
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ei in the late 1970s. my history teacher is here. [laughter] i'm thrilled. but really i didn't have -- [laughter] but i really had no sense of the history of the school at that point. and it was only when i returned years later as alumni director that i began to appreciate the history of the school. my fascination with the 1960s' graduates began when i organized an event, the events for the reunion weekend of the class of 1961. the first thing they did was to gather in grand central station and board a train to bedford hills to visit kathy boudin, and it was then that i realized this was a unique group of people. [laughter] so that's about all. i want to thank you all so much for coming. i want to thank corner bookstore
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for being such wonderful hosts, sam for taking time out of a very busy week to come in to introduce me and public affairs for being so wonderful and my editor, kathy -- i mean, my editor kathy, my editor lisa kaufman is here. and if you have any questions, i would love to take them. thank you so much. oh, and i'm asked to, please, wait until the gentleman with the microphone comes to you. [applause] thank you. any questions? >> dina, when you spoke with all of these people now many years after they left the school, what are their feelings? i mean, did they see the school as being formative in their lives, or do you think that they would have become who they were
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regardless of where they went to school? >> um, i think that many of the students who went there had come from families who were very progressive and less oriented. so there was always a predilection to that. but i know that many of them have told me that the school really shaped their lives and was, you know, really finish and they tracked that back. i mean, victor talks about his classes there, he was class of '50. lots of people really see that as a real mark in their lives. and the people who graduated, like elliot, who reacted against it -- ron who wrote the book that, about the rosenbergs that really sort of brought to light the fact of the parents'
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culpability -- they reacted very much against it, you know? they were, in many cases, very bitter about it. >> i find that very -- >> oh, wait, wait for the -- >> i find that totally confusing, actually, in such an amazingly democratic society where people were allowed to express themselves so freely and to have a background at home in that way that abrams could become so virulently the other way. it's incredible to me. can you elucidate? >> i think that one of the things that elliot found, and he says this, is that one of the things he found in school is that he loved being in the opposition. [laughter] he loved, he loved being a counterpuncher, you know? no, i don't know, i think he believes really strongly what he believes, but i think that somehow the mesh of his, of his
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character, i mean, and his beliefs really came into focus there and was reinforced when he went to harvard and found himself still under siege. so, yeah. and i think it's also important to note that he, he wasn't punished or penalized for his, for his views at little red. he was made the editor of info which was the school's magazine and made many friends there. but those friends really, um, became bitter about him when he became a republican. so i think they moved away from him more than the other way around. >> [inaudible] >> what? >> [inaudible] the school, to allow that freedom to grow. >> yeah. >> i'm just curious, do they talk about rand smith at all? because he's really the one that
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made this environment possible. >> rice smith was the director of -- was he is the -- he was the director of the whole school, right? >> yeah. >> yeah, for many years. and he took over after elizabeth irwin died. >> right. '44, a couple years after she died. but he was called before -- [inaudible] and he was asked if he had communist teachers, and he told them it was none of their business. [laughter] >> that's right. and he was a -- and more than i think being a sort of old left sort of new york fellow, he was a sort of new england yankee, you know sort of guy. not necessarily terribly liberal or, you know, more independent yankee. they don't talk to -- about him a lot. angela spoke about him very fondly, because she remembers that when she first came to the
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school, she came a week before the school opened to just sort of get oriented with the people who were, who she was staying with. and she just remembers him, you know, smiling at her and being very courtly and proper which i think was, you know, a good, you know, reminded her of the south. because it was just amazing to her when she went around to the teachers, and they were -- she was calling them by their first name, and they were wearing jeans. [laughter] and she said, you know, i think, you know, maybe i made a horrible mistake. maybe my mother was right. maybe this is going to be full of crazy beatniks like she said? [laughter] [inaudible conversations] >> did your three maintain contact with the school or with their classmates? did they -- >> absolutely. >> did they have continuing involvement with the school? >> angela, um, i think goes to
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the reunions almost -- >> not the reunion i was at. >> -- almost every year now, and i think has done that pretty regularly. >> [inaudible] >> did she really? >> gave an evening talk. >> and, um, and tom also comes to the reunions now and hen. i think he -- now and then. i think he's kept sporadic touch with the school. and elliot kept touch with the school, as i said, until about the 1980s. and then he just felt like, you know, the people had, you know, his class mates had turned their back on him, and so, yeah. so he hasn't been back in a long time. and as a matter of fact, um, i forget when -- in the mid '90s, i think ei published a 50th anniversary commemorative
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book, and everybody sort of submitted their memories. and he actually sent a very nice letter saying, you know, i remember the arts or were fabulous, and, you know, i just had wonderful experiences there. i hope the old left pieties have departed, and, you know, i hated everything about the politics there, and i hope that's gone now. but as, you know, as for everything else, i loved it. and it caused a e tremendous uproar. [laughter] when it was published. some people were just beside themselves, and they wrote in and in highly angry terms. elliot has always been able to just drive his classmates crazy, and by extension, the entire sort of left-wing community crazy, and it's a role that he's relished. [laughter] >> so in all of these years of research that you did for the book, what was sort of the most
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surprising thing that you found about them or about one of the three characters or what detail did you cover, uncover that kind of really took you by surprise? >> oh, golly. that's a lot of research. [laughter] let me come back to that. [laughter] makes me go blank. anything else? >> shall l we take one more -- shall we take one more question? >> unmore question? yes. >> did you go through a longer list of people before you settled on or connected beth with these three? >> absolutely. when i started the project in sam's class, i interviewed a lott of people -- a lot of people. i knew that i wanted it to be between the classes of, say, '61 and '65 so that they would arrive in college, you know, at the height of the college revolt. so i had a tremendous selection of people to choose from. and these were the people that i
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settled on. i mean, i wanted -- i know that i wanted someone who represented the old left, which was tom. i wanted somebody who was in opposition to the school, because i didn't want it to be just sort of an uncritical love letter. i mean, the school con contains a hot of contradictions, and -- a lot of contradictions, and i wanted to bring those out. and angela, of course, i wanted to represent a woman, and her life is just so fascinating, and an african-american, that, you know, i couldn't resist. >> [inaudible] >> and is brilliant. and all three are still, they're still doing what they're doing, you know? they never sort of, um, in the mid '70s or '80s, they never sort of slowed down. i mean, tom sort of switched his focus, but he's still working for his beliefs. and their beliefs may have changed a bit over the yours, but not terribly much.
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and they're still fighting for them. and i think that's inspiring. >> dina, thanks a million. >> thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much. >> we'd like to hear from you. tweet us your feedback, twitter.com/booktv. >> i'm trying to find a new lens, if you will, a new way of studying presidential character. for example, about 12 years ago i wrote a book on the first ladies, and i thought that it would be important to understand the presidents from a different angle, that is, why not study the person who knew them best? so, for example, what possibly could i as an historian contribute to the body of knowledge on lincoln or george washington? pretty much everything that could be written about lincoln or washington probably has been written. the greatest historians have spent years poring through the lettedders and evidence that
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produced this book on lincoln or the hundreds of books on washington. so my thought was, eureka, why not look at them through the first lady? because historians have largely ignored the role of the first lady as they've largely ignored the role of mistresses in shaping the man. why? and i suspect because a lot of my colleagues tend to be older men, educated in a certain way that didn't study such matters, and most historians, as i always say, were not educated in matters of the heart or the harte. and so, therefore, they ignore that. so by studying the first lady, for example, the first thing thomas jefferson did after spending 17 days cooped up in a lot of outside of philadelphia writing the declaration of independence, the first thing he did is he went shopping. he went shopping for martha, his wife. he missed her. she was preggers. he had had a miscarriage, and he missed her x he fought her some gloves.
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then he begged off from serving for the rest of that summer so he could go home to monticello to be with his wife. every winter of the revolutionary war right there in camp beside george washington suffering through the freezing weather at valley forge was martha washington with her or white bonnet right there in camp. so by studying the first ladies, we get new insights, i think, on the president and other things. apropos to my week, washington's closest adviser was alexander hamilton, and one to have the chapters in the book talks about hamilton's history of womanizing. for example, bill clinton was not the first, and bill clinton was not the worst when it comes to misbehavior in high office. there's a long, long history of it. and eliot spitzer, arnold schwarzenegger, john edwards, these guys -- david petraeus had nothing on alexander hamilton. and what we find is if you read, for example, letters written by martha washington during those winter camps, she was tough.
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she was like a soldier. she didn't complain about the weather, she didn't complain about the harsh conditions, but she did complain about one thing. there was a tom cat one winter that was misbehaving, and it was noisy, noisy, and it kept her awake at night, so she nicknamed the tom cat alexander hamilton. [laughter] i also did a book a few years ago called "life in the white house," and it was about the presidents at ease. what do they eat? what hobbies do they have? what are they like as fathers and husbands? how did their their kids turn out? as another way of assess l presidential character, providing us with another lens. for example, we're all still trying to figure out dick nixon, right? for example, i looked, and i said nixon in his free time liked to bowl alone and sometimes wore a black suit to do it. i mean, that begins to explain things, right, everyone? who does this? [laughter] so i guess all books end up
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being trilogies, right, everyone? so here's the end. so affairs of state, i try to take a different perspective on our presidents. and, for example, we all know about george washington, but we study washington at yorktown. what brilliance. we study washington's courage, dashing crossing of the delaware christmas night which saved the revolution. but who were george washington's girlfriends when he was a kid? and you find that the teenage washington on more than one occasion basically goes back home in tears because he was turned down and puts pen to paper and writes roses are red, violates are blue -- violets are blue types of program. cupid's dart has been shot through my heart when yet another girl turned him down. during my degrees and during my doctoral study, my professors didn't tell me about washington's teenage girlfriend. so it's kind of fun, and i think it provides us with an important
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lens, a new way of understanding the presidents. we all know that our country's leaders have often times been shaped by the hand of a woman, often a mother. often a wife. but i'm here to tell you, sometimes that of a mistress as well. it's in the news today as we tape this program, david general -- general david petraeus is still dominating the headlines with his alleged affair and his misbehavior. related to the book, what my first thought was when this happened to petraeus and when it came out was during world war ii general eisenhower was having a long-term affair with an attractive young british driver named kay somers by. you know, what general hires a young female model to be his aide, if you will, instead of a major or a captain or a medal winner? now, imagine if eisenhower's affair with kay somersby came out in world war ii, and as had
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happened to petraeus, what if we got rid of ike before d day? during the great depression, franklin roosevelt was having affairs. frank lip roosevelt had two very -- franklin roosevelt had two very long-term affairs. one with his personal aide and secretary and cook and dresser -- undress or, apparently, too -- what if we threw fdr out of office or demanded his resignation as the economy was recovering? all the way back to the french and indian war, a very young george washington was writing very romantic letters to a woman who was not mrs. washington. her name was sally fairfax, a very attractive, older, sophisticated neighbor. what if washington's letters had become public during the french and indian war or the revolutionary war? much as petraeus with' e-mails
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became public. and what if we got rid of george washington? so neither -- bill clinton's not the first and not the worst, petraeus is not the first and not the worst. been there, done that, there's a long history of it. in fact, it pains me to say that even abraham lincoln visited a prostitute. i know, say it isn't so, right? but it happened. now, there's -- the details on it are sketchy. this is not a lot of letters written about this, but here is what we can piece together. lincoln's best friend was joshua speed, and speed was perhaps as dashing and as handsome and as, i guess, quote-unquote lucky with the ladies as lincoln was allegedly homely and awkward and unlucky in romance. speed felt sorry for lincoln, and speed invited lincoln to work at his general store for employment. and then speed didn't have a mace to stay, so lincoln let him stay upstairs at the general
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store. and during their friendship speed was using the services of a professional woman. and you imagine lincoln upstairs, you know, with a pillow over his head trying to mind his own business as period is doing his business. and lincoln basically says to speed, you know, i've got to have a woman, been too long. and here's what appears to have happened. only abraham lincoln would do this. it appears lincoln asked speed for a letter of introduction. [laughter] with a professional woman. and i don't mean agriculture as the oldest profession. there was an occupation that predated agriculture. what we've pieced together is lincoln visited the prostitute, and he had maybe $3 with him which was a lot of money. not eliot spitzer money when you're visiting escorts, but a pretty fair amount of money. and the prostitute apparently charges lincoln $5 which was an enormous amount of money at the time. is so lincoln says the to her, ma'am, i have to tell you, i
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can't afford pit. i only are three. well, she knows speed, so there's a possibility he could pay her when he gets the money. what we know is either, a, because lincoln got embarrassed or, p, his honor -- b, his honor got the best of lincoln, she said you can pay me later on this one's on the house, lincoln's out the door. in this case it was not a happy ending, it was a good ending. so even abraham lincoln. so what i thought i'd do for my main body of my remarks today is tell you just a couple of my favorite stories not just about mistresses in history, but more importantly about presidential character. but don't worry, there's some juicy stories here involved. one of them involves our 22nd and our 24th president, grover cleveland. now, when grover cleveland was a young man, there was a proposal because a cleveland fathered a
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child out of wedlock with a woman named maria from pennsylvania, and she might have been a prostitute. at the least she was very casual about her relationships. of now, cleveland was a bachelor and, of course, he's running in the 1880s and then again in the 1890s, so fathering a child out of wedlock was seen as a big to-do at the time. and it was such a big to-do for other reasons. one was that the republican opponents of cleveland that were backing james g. blaine, the republican nominee, and a group of very righteous preachers started a campaign that no woman in the country's safe. lock your doors. you know, it's like drag that's here or something, cleveland's prowling the streets debatching young women. really an aggressive campaign attacking cleveland. so it became a huge story because they wouldn't let it go. but one of the things that saves cleveland is it turns out that james g. blaine likely had more
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affairs than cleveland, and his wife miraculously gave gave birth about six months after they got married. and the one hinge we dislike more than a politician that makes a mistake is a hypocritical politician, right? so it blew back on blaine and helped cleveland. the other thing that made this a bit of a scandal was this: republicans again were pushing this issue, and they would have a little, kind of a jingle, a little song, a little rhyme that they would do, and they would say mama where's my pa pretelephonedding they were cleveland -- pretending they were cleveland's love child. the democrats complete that little song by saying mama, where's my pa, going to the white house, that, that, that, sort of a democratic rejoiner. [laughter] but what made it a scandal was this: grover cleveland's best friend and law partner was a guy
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named oscar fulsome. and cleveland was born in f -- new jersey and spent most of his career in buffalo. but he was a very successful lawyer, and he and oscar full be where are law partners x. they practiced law together, they went out together, they would go out drinking and eating together, and it appears that they also enjoyed the services of maria together. so when maria gets pregnant, she has a son, and either oscar, nor for grover cleveland knew who the father was. and maria complicates things by making the child os carr cleveland. cleveland kind of accepted responsibility to pay for the child to go to an orphan am, but here's where the other part of the scandal comes in. oscar folsom dies a new years later in a carriage accident. he's driving recklessly, he's flung from it, apparently